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Microphone Month 3

Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II Buying Guide

Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II

The Professional Modular Interface That Can Adapt to Any Studio

From solo recordings to full bands, you’ll enjoy world-class sonics and incredible flexibility with an Apogee Symphony I/O Mk II audio interface in your rack. The modular design of the Symphony I/O means it’s ready to integrate into virtually any studio rig and is easy to adapt as your studio needs change. Symphony I/O Mk II boasts Apogee’s latest flagship AD/DA conversion, as well as ultra-flexible modular I/O that offers up to 32 inputs and outputs and a fast, user-friendly touchscreen display. Apogee has been a leader in professional digital audio for decades, and the Symphony I/O Mk II is their best-sounding and most flexible solution to date.

Symphony I/O Mk II

Choose from three platforms

With Symphony I/O Mk II you have your choice of three platforms, with Thunderbolt (Mac), Pro Tools|HD (Mac/PC) or Waves SoundGrid (available Q4 2016) connectivity.

YOU Determine What Your Symphony I/O Can Do

The modular design of the Symphony I/O Mk II is what makes it an amazingly versatile interface, but it also means there are many different configurations you can create. Before you get overwhelmed by the many possible module combinations, it’s important to remember what you’re specifically trying to accomplish with your workflow. We’ve spent countless hours at Sweetwater learning the Symphony I/O inside and out – if you aren’t sure which Symphony I/O Mk II configuration is best for you, then just give us a call, and we’ll be happy to help you determine which is best for your specific needs.

Five Reasons to Get Excited About Symphony I/O Mk II

  • The best-sounding, highest quality digital conversion and analog circuitry Apogee has ever created
  • Amazingly clear and vibrant mic preamp module has an astonishingly low noise floor
  • Flexible modular design lets you adapt your I/O selection to adapt to any studio setup
  • Your choice of platform: Thunderbolt (Mac), Pro Tools|HD (Mac/PC) or Waves SoundGrid (available Q4 2016)
  • Comprehensive control over all interface functions via Maestro control software on your Mac

Start from Four Different Configurations

Your Symphony I/O Mk II system starts from one of four base configurations, each designed to give you as much or as little connectivity as you currently need. All supply word clock I/O, letting you use your Symphony I/O as a master clock or slave it to external devices, as well as a headphone output on the front panel. Which configuration you should choose is based only on your analog and digital I/O needs.

Symphony I/O

2 x 6

Symphony I/O

8 x 8

Symphony I/O

16 x 16

Symphony I/O

8 x 8 + 8MP

Analog Inputs
  • 2 x line in (2 x XLR)
  • 8 x line in (1 x D-sub)
  • 16 x line in
    (2 x D-sub)
  • 8 x line in, 4 x instruments, 8 x insert return
    (1 x D-sub)(4 x 1/4")(1 x D-sub)
Digital Inputs
  • 2-ch AES-EBU (1 x XLR)
  • 8-ch ADAT, 8-ch SMUX, 2-ch S/PDIF (Optical TOSlink)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)
  • 8 x AES-EBU (1 x D-sub)
  • 8-ch ADAT, 8-ch SMUX, 2-ch S/PDIF (Optical TOSlink)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)
  • 8 x AES-EBU (1 x D-sub)
  • 8-ch ADAT, 8-ch SMUX, 2-ch S/PDIF
    (Optical TOSlink)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)
Analog Outputs
  • 6 x line out (1 x D-sub)
  • 8 x line out (1 x D-sub)
  • 16 x line out
    (2 x D-sub)
  • 8 x line out, 8 x insert send
    (1 x D-sub)(1 x D-sub)
Digital Outputs
  • 2-ch AES-EBU (XLR)
  • 8-ch ADAT, 8-ch SMUX, 2-ch S/PDIF (Optical TOSlink)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)
  • 8 x AES-EBU (1 x D-sub)
  • 8-ch ADAT, 8-ch SMUX, 2-ch S/PDIF (Optical TOSlink)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)
  • 8 x AES-EBU (1 x D-sub)
  • 8-ch ADAT, 8-ch SMUX, 2-ch S/PDIF
    (Optical TOSlink)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)

Symphony I/O Mk II 2×6

Basic connectivity for overdubs and mastering

  • 2 analog inputs and 6 analog outputs
  • Perfect for voice-overs, overdubs, and other small-scale projects
  • Enough analog outputs for 5.1 surround monitoring

For small-format work like mastering, the 2×6 is a great place to start. You get two analog line inputs and six analog outs, as well as some basic digital connectivity. If you don’t need high channel counts and only want the Symphony I/O Mk II for its stellar sound quality, then the 2×6 configuration is your best value.
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Symphony I/O Mk II 8×8

More analog and digital I/O for production studios

  • 8 analog inputs and outputs, plus 8 channels of digital I/O
  • Ideal for project studios with external mic preamplifiers
  • Good starting point for smaller recording studios

This is a great starting point if you have some outboard mic preamps and external hardware processors you already rely on and just need the analog and digital connectivity to accommodate them. With eight analog inputs and outputs, eight channels of digital I/O on optical connectors, and two channels of S/PDIF digital I/O on RCA connectors, the 8×8 gives you the flexibility you need to integrate some external hardware into your Symphony I/O Mk II setup.
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Symphony I/O Mk II 16×16

Connectivity and expandability for larger studios

  • 16 analog inputs and outputs for mic pres or your mixing console
  • The most efficient starting point for larger studios with lots of hardware
  • Ideal base configuration for Thunderbolt, Pro Tools|HD, or Waves SoundGrid use

Sixteen analog inputs and 16 analog outputs – this is perfect if you already use lots of external hardware such as preamps and processors. It’s also the ideal setup if you track and mix through an analog console and just need a high-quality converter and interface for your DAW. This is a great starting point if you plan to use your Symphony I/O Mk II with Thunderbolt, Pro Tools|HD, or Waves SoundGrid to take advantage of higher track counts with better latency and stability than USB.
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Symphony I/O Mk II 8×8+8MP

Ready to record, no external preamps required

  • 8 outstanding microphone preamplifiers with amazingly low noise floor
  • 8 analog line inputs, plus 4 instrument inputs for guitars and basses
  • Lets you hook up 8 microphones and start recording without any external preamps

This is virtually identical to the 8×8 setup, with the addition of eight amazing preamps, eight insert points, and four instrument inputs. This configuration is ideal if you don’t already have external microphone preamplifiers. These preamps are incredibly noise free – you’ve got 85dB of gain on tap, and you have full digital control over them. If you want to be able to plug mics right into your Symphony I/O Mk II and record, then this is the configuration you want to start with.
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Choose the Modules That Are Right for You

If you have a clear vision for your studio workflow, then you shouldn’t have much trouble determining which modules you need in your Symphony I/O Mk II. There are four different I/O modules available, and with two module slots available on the Symphony I/O, there are many different module combinations possible. It’s important to remember that these modules simply determine how you connect to your Symphony I/O – no module is better or worse than the others. If you need help determining what your minimum connectivity needs are, then just give your Sweetwater Sales Engineer a call!

Module Analog Inputs Digital Inputs
2×6 Analog I/O + 8×8 Digital I/O
  • 2 x line in (2 x XLR)
  • 2-ch AES-EBU (1 x XLR)
  • 8-ch ADAT, 8-ch SMUX, 2-ch S/PDIF (Optical TOSlink)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)
8×8 Analog I/O + 8×8 Digital I/O
  • 8 x line in (1 x D-sub)
  • 8 x AES-EBU (1 x D-sub)
  • 8-ch ADAT, 8-ch SMUX, 2-ch S/PDIF (Optical TOSlink)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)
16×16 Analog I/O
  • 16 x line in (2 x D-sub)
  • 2-ch S/PDIF (RCA)
8 Mic Preamp
  • 4 x instrument in (4 x 1/4")
  • 8 x insert return (1 x D-sub)

Use Maestro Software for Comprehensive Control

Apogee’s included Maestro control software lets you control virtually every parameter of the Symphony I/O Mk II right from your workstation. You can manage inputs and gain levels, change routing, control volume, set up headphone mixes, and much more. From setting mic levels to monitoring your final mix, Maestro software gives you full control of your Symphony I/O right from your computer. Learn more about Maestro control software here.

Symphony I/O Mk II – Amazing Sound, Outstanding Flexibility

With all of the different configurations available, it’s easy to forget that the Symphony I/O is also the best-sounding converter and interface Apogee has ever created. The modular flexibility is really just icing on the cake, allowing this awesome-sounding interface to integrate with a wide range of studio setups. At Sweetwater, we’ve gone through extensive Symphony I/O training with Apogee. We’re here to help you determine the right configuration for your specific setup and make sure you’re setting the best foundation possible for your studio. We can even help you with installation of additional modules.

For help designing your new Symphony I/O Mk II system,
just give your Sweetwater Sales Engineer a call!

(800) 222-4700

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